A Survey of 2 Samuel

William Arnold III

David Reigns Over Judah, 1-4 · David Begins Reigning Over all Israel, 5-12 · The Absalom Story, 13-18 · The Kingdom After Absalom, 19-24

David Reigns Over Judah, 1-4

Saul had died at the close of 1 Samuel and David first learns of his death in the beginning of 2 Samuel. An Amalekite brings David Saulís crown and bracelet, falsely claiming to have killed him and David has him put to death. He sings a song of lament for Saul and Jonathon. David is then made king of Judah and Saulís son Ishbosheth is made king over Israel. Civil war breaks out between the two countries, but it is soon given up. Ishbosheth falsely accuses Abner, his general, of sleeping with his fatherís concubine and so Abner leaves Ishbosheth to join David. However, he is murdered by Joab because he had killed Joabís brother in time of war and so David mourns Abnerís death. Ishbosheth is later murdered and David has his murderers executed.

David Begins Reigning Over all Israel, 5-12

David now becomes ruler over all the land of Israel. He conquers Jerusalem and makes it his capital city and then he goes to war with the Philistines and has victory over them as well. David has the Ark of the Covenant brought to the city of Jerusalem and Uzzah is killed along the way for touching it. David dances before the LORD with all his heart, which makes his wife Michal upset with him. Now that the Ark has been brought into Jerusalem, David has aspirations to build God a temple to replace the tabernacle. Nathan, the prophet of God, tells David that he will not build Godís temple, but instead, his son will. God also promises David that his descendants will continue to sit on the throneóthat his kingdom and dynasty would last forever. He also gives him an additional promise about his son, which applies to Solomon but also has reference to Davidís ultimate son, the Messiah. These promises are what later became known as the Davidic Covenant.

David continues to fight battles and continues to be victorious. One day, he wants to show kindness to the house of Saul and asks if any of his family were still alive. He finds out that his late friend Jonathon has a son who is crippled named Mephibosheth. David brings Mephibosheth to the palace, restores Saulís land to him and allows him to eat at the kingís own table for the rest of his life. After this, David again has war with the Ammonites who hired some Syrians to help them and again David is victorious over them all.

Later, Davidís men go to battle against the Ammonites again, but this time he stays home. As he was sitting on his roof, he noticed a beautiful woman bathing named Bathsheba. He has her brought to the palace, sleeps with her and she gets pregnant. In attempt to cover it up, David has her husband Uriah brought back from battle, but Uriah would not go to see his wife while the rest of the nation was at war. David then sends Uriah back to battle with a message telling Abner to put him in the heat of the fight so that he will be killed. After Uriah is killed, David marries Bathsheba and then Nathan the prophet comes to David with a parable that dramatizes Davidís sin. David repents of his sin, but the child of this union dies. However, Bathsheba later gives birth to Solomon, who one day becomes heir to Davidís throne.

The Absalom Story, 13-18

Davidís son Absalom had a beautiful sister named Tamar. His half-brother Amnon is in love with Tamar and so he devises a plan to be with her alone where he rapes her. After this, he no longer loves her but sends her away in disgrace. Absalom then prepares a banquet and invites all of his brothers and then kills Amnon and flees to live with his grandfather, Talmai, king of Geshur. After Absalom had been away for a while, Joab gets a woman to tell David a parable which would convince him to bring back his son, since Joab knows how much David misses him. Absalom is brought back, but not allowed to see the king. So after setting Joabís barley field on fire, Absalom convinces him to go before King David and have them reunited.

Absalom then begins plotting to take the throne away from his father. He wins the support of the common people and then declares himself king in the city of Hebron. When David hears of it, he flees from Jerusalem, but leaves his trusted friend Hushai there to keep him informed and to give Absalom bad advice. As he is fleeing, meets up with Ziba and then Shimei who curses him and his men as well as throwing rocks and dirt at them. Absalom enters Jerusalem and he also receives Hushai. He then openly sleeps with some of Davidís concubines.

Ahithophel, whose advise is compared to the word of God, advises Absalom to attack David and his men immediately, but Hushai convinces him to wait, thereby buying David more time. He also sends a message to David of Absalomís plans. Finally, Davidís men go to war against Absalom and his men and Davidís men are victorious. However, contrary to Davidís instructions, Joab kills Absalom. Two messengers are sent to tell David the news of the war and when David hears that Absalom is dead he mourns for him.

The Kingdom After Absalom, 19-24

When David will not stop mourning for his son, Joab comes and rebukes him, telling him that he needs to show his men the appreciation they deserve. David gives in to Joab but then has Absalomís former general, Amasa, replace him and then David heads back toward Jerusalem. David again meets up with Shimei and shows him mercy. He also shows kindness to Mephibosheth again as well as an old man named Barzillai. When he finally gets back, the people of Israel and Judah are fighting over him. But all of his worries were not over, as a man named Sheba also tried to start a rebellion and so David sends his men, led by their new general, Amasa, after him. During the war, Joab deceives and murders Amasa. Sheba flees to the city of Abel Beth Maacah, where the inhabitants kill him and throw his head down to Joab. Joab is then restored as general of the army of Israel.

David has seven of Saulís descendants put to death to appease the people of Gibeon as well as the LORD, but he spares Mephibosheth for the sake of his father Jonathon. After this, Davidís men go and kill some more Philistine giants. We then read a song that David sang when the LORD had saved him from Saul and some other enemies. We also read another song that is identified as Davidís last words and then we see the hall of fame for Davidís most famous soldiers. Finally, David takes a census of the people of Israel and God gives him his choice of punishment for doing so. David chooses three days of an epidemic, because he says he would rather be punished by the LORD than by men. Over 70,000 men die from the plague and so David buys a threshing floor to offer a sacrifice and God stops the epidemic.

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